New Kilkenny hurling boss Derek Lyng has been dealt an early blow before a ball has been pucked under his stewardship with the news that defender Mikey Carey is set to miss the 2023 season as he heads off travelling.
Carey, son of Kilkenny legend DJ, was a revelation this season as he nailed down a spot in the Kilkenny half-back line but the Young Irelands clubman is understood to be taking at least a season away from the inter-county fold.
Carey’s absence is a setback which Lyng could do without given his defensive displays this year en route to a hat-trick of Leinster SHC titles – as well as an All-Ireland final appearance – as the 23-year-old’s short-term future in black and amber is uncertain at this time.
There is speculation that Carey’s travels may take in more than one season away from the county squad with question marks also over his participation in 2024 as he opts to take the chance to travel post-Covid.
Lyng, who led the Cats to an U-20 All-Ireland crown in May and ended a 14-year barren spell in the process, has the unenviable task of trying to fill Brian Cody’s sizeable boots after 24 glittering seasons in the Kilkenny hot-seat and his backroom team looks set to be confirmed over the coming weeks.